Saturday, March 19, 2022

Musket Girls! Chapter 7 ~11

 Chapter 7: First Mission


Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro

“First, I want you to train my troops.”

Brigade Commander Colonel Alzer looked out the window.

“My company of women soldiers have finished the basic training, but they don’t have any battle experience. I didn’t recruit them in order to wage war, so this is only natural.”

“So why did you recruit them?”

Colonel Alzer smiled at my question.

“Lieutenant Krombertz, you don’t know your last name, so you are not from a wealthy family, right?”

“Yes, my father is a drunkard, and my mother ran away after giving birth to me. When I realized it, I was already living in the streets.”

Colonel Alzer nodded firmly.

“But you’re living well now.”

“That’s because I caught the eye of an old ex-soldier, and we made some money by doing some odd jobs.”

“And you entered the Military Academy on the advice of that old man?”

“That’s right.”

Colonel Alzer showed a sympathetic expression and sighed softly.

“Many veterans thought of their time in the army as their glory days. Even more so for the impoverished citizens. So, they will idealize the army. In contrast, many people thought badly of their days in the army.”

I just mentioned an ex-soldier, and Colonel Alzer inferred so much.

The second line that the old man said to me was ‘the army is good, you can be a good officer.’

Was he still well?

But what did that have to do with the women's Company?

Colonel Alzer glanced at me.

“What will happen if you are a woman?”

That was a tough question. A Commoner woman couldn’t enroll in the Imperial Military Academy.

I thought about the current social norms of Schweidel, then answered:

“There are two choices. I can sell my freedom by becoming a sharecropper for the Church or sell my body in a brothel. No, there is a third way.”

“That’s it. Become a woman line infantry and sell your life.”

Colonel Alzer looked out the window at the women soldiers training outside, then turned to me.

“I gave them a third option— becoming a soldier. It’s not much of a living, but they will have more freedom, and their treatment will be better than the other two options. At the very least, they can see the doctor if they are sick or injured.”

If I was a woman, I couldn’t become a Second Lieutenant. Even becoming a soldier was a problem. And I couldn’t be sure how the old man would treat me. He wasn’t a saint either.

Now that I think about it, I was lucky to be born a man. Although I didn’t feel that lucky since I was the same gender as my previous life.

Hannah muttered quietly.

“If the Brigade Commander didn’t pick me up, I would be grinding grains in a mill for the rest of my life.”

That wasn’t one of the choices I listed. But never mind.

Anyway, I got what Colonel Alzer was thinking. In this world without human rights and social welfare, she wanted to give another way of life to women.

Most Imperial nobles treat Commoners as 【ants leeching off the Empire】 or 【Lowly scum.】 There were many nobles who were passionate about charity, but most were just investing to get the reputation of a【kind noble.】

From that perspective, Colonel Alzer was a rather decent noble. It might be limited to just women, but she was still taking care of the Commoners.

I didn’t know what she was planning, but at this point of time, I had no reason to defy her orders.

Let’s compliment her for now.

“I’m very impressed.”

“Don’t flatter me, Lieutenant Krombertz.”

Colonel Alzer brushed her black hair while she was saying that, her cheeks blushing a little. The change could be seen easily because of how pale her skin was.

“Anyway, I want to train my troops.”

“But Madam, this company is not going onto the battlefield, right?”

Wasn’t that what you said?

Colonel Alzer scratched her head.

“The political scene isn’t stable now. Like how Duke Ritreille is giving off the smell of a conspiracy. Sorry.”

“You don’t trust me?”

“That’s one of the reasons.”

So that was true.

“On the other hand, I really don’t really know the situation. The chances of things going well or badly is 50/50. And the task I’m giving you is to prepare for the worst. Do you understand?”

“Yes, if that is an order.”

I don’t want to put Colonel Alzer in a dilemma either. So, I saluted her seriously. My job was just to assist her anyway.


Colonel Alzer stared at me.

“This is your first mission. Improve the training level of the Sixth Special Brigade’s first women infantry company. And work under me as its Officer Commanding (OC).”

“Yes! …No, wait.”

Officer Commanding of a Company?

Colonel Alzer smiled cheerfully.

“Currently, I’m doubling as the Company OC, but isn’t it strange for the Brigade Commander to take on the duties of a Company OC? There aren’t any other officers in the Brigade either.”

“If there are no officers, then what about the Platoon Leaders?”

“We have three Staff Sergeants. Hannah is the Platoon Leader of the 1st Platoon.”

I turned my head back quickly. That child was a Platoon Leader?

When the Platoon Leader was killed in battle, the Staff Sergeant had to take over as the Platoon Leader. But that was just temporary.

There were no female Commoner officers, so the Brigade stayed like this until now?

“No, someone like me can’t be a Platoon Leader.”

Hannah shirked away bashfully, but even when she was curled up, her body was still big.

I turned back to Colonel Alzer.

“That’s why I’m the Company OC?”

“If another officer is posted here, they can be the OC instead. But don’t keep your hopes up. It's dependent on whether an officer is willing to come.”

Anyone, please come. A Company was the basic unit of a military life, so the OC had a heavy workload. I didn’t want to take on that role.

“I have no intention to be the OC, but I will show you my ability as a strategist.”

“Very good, I’m looking forward to it. Since the only ones who had been formally trained as an Officer are just you and me.”

A Brigade with just two officers, huh. This would be tough.

“First, let’s confirm the training level of the Company.”

   *   *

And so, I was assigned as the instructor for the women Company. But after taking a look, this wasn’t a simple task.

“Slow, too slow.”

I said quietly on the vast training field. Hannah who was standing beside me cocked her head.

“Which part?”


I said with a sigh.

“We need 30 seconds to load and prime, but normally, we need to fire a barrage every 25 seconds.”

“The musket is too long, so it takes time to load. We are shorter than men after all.”

We couldn’t ignore the difference in stature between men and women. The musket was made for men, so it was a little too long for women soldiers.

The muskets were loaded from the muzzle by using a ramrod to ram down the gunpowder and bullet. In such a situation, it would be hard to manage if one’s arm wasn’t long enough.

“I know, but the enemy won’t wait for us.”

In any battle, being slower than the enemy would be a fatal mistake. If they couldn’t improve on that, they couldn’t become battle ready soldiers.

“First, let’s change the equipment.”

“Yes, thank you very much.”

How much time and money would be needed to change the muskets of an entire Company?

No, wait, why not just procure Musketoons? They were shortened and meant for cavalry use. Let’s discuss this with Colonel Alzer.

“Their movement is too slow.”

“Because their strides are shorter.”

“Their formation change is slow.”

“They are just lacking in training. We will work hard on that.”

Hannah looked apologetic.

Physical constraints couldn’t be helped. If this was an era where battles were fought with pikes and arrows, they would have an even tougher time. But with the advent of muskets, the difference in physical strength wouldn’t matter too much.

That might be so, but it would still be harsh when it was time for them to charge with bayonets…

After pondering about it for a while, I said to Hannah:

“Gather the Company in the Mess. I want to tell them something.”

“Yes, Lieutenant.”

Hannah saluted with a smile.

Chapter 8: The Death God’s Lecture

“Everyone is here. I will be brief, so listen up!”

150 female soldiers formed up in ranks in the Mess, and I stood before them and said with a slightly loud voice.

“I’m Second Lieutenant Strategist Krombertz, and is tasked to train you under the orders of the Brigade Commander! And I need to tell you something!”

I thought about the classes I attended in the Military Academy, and clicked my boots loudly.

“If this Company is deployed on the battlefield, all of you will be killed! And it will be a one sided massacre!”

Instead of “die”, I used the term “killed” to leave a deeper impression.

“A few days ago, I engaged the Agan army in a battle. I was in command of a platoon of 50 men, and they were all veterans who had gone through thorough training. But after we routed the enemy, only 22 men survived, while the other 28 were either dead or maimed. I am responsible for the results of that battle, and I don’t want to see that terrible sight a second time.”

If I was leading the soldiers of this Sixth Special Brigade, I wouldn’t have survived that battle.

“Your level of training is much lower than my subordinates from back then. Your movements are slow and you make mistakes, and morale is low too. Forget about winning, even fleeing will be difficult. The Brigade Commander is worried about this situation.”

The Colonel was popular, so everyone was listening seriously… at least it seemed that way.

“So I will retrain everyone here! You might die in battle even after going through the training! But if you don’t train, you will definitely die!”

There was no guarantee that they would survive after training. Their enemies on the battlefield would be well trained too, so no matter how much they trained, they would still die when the time comes.

But without training, they would definitely suffer heavy casualties in their first battle. In this world with underdeveloped communications and supply lines, there weren’t any concepts of human rights, and the lives of soldiers on the battlefield didn’t have any guarantees.

“I will train everyone into formidable warriors within a year. Regrettably, I’m a man, so I can’t be sure that I can give adequate care for everyone’s physical and mental health. So if you have any complaints, feel free to bring it up! I won’t punish anyone because of that!”

I needed to act on the soldiers’ complaints, and improve the efficiency of the training.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t listen to any complaints that didn’t help with training.

I wasn’t posted here to curry favor with the troops.

“In my previous Division, I was called a 【Death God】 and was hated by people. So don’t worry, feel free to hate me too. The real training will begin tomorrow! Dismissed!”

I ended my speech, and Staff Sergeant Hannah immediately saluted and shouted:

“Salute the Lieutenant!”

They were not completely in sync, but the 150 women saluted me, and I returned their salutes.

The women soldiers here didn’t have anywhere to go, and were saved by the Colonel. There were probably tens of thousands of women in the same predicament in the country. The 150 women here were just a part of that group.

I needed to do what I could to help even one more soldier survive.

I hope no one would shoot me in the back…

   *   *

The next day, I started giving lessons by Platoon level. I wanted to teach the entire Company in one go, but having too many students would make it more difficult to teach instead.

My only experience in teaching was when I worked part time at a tuition center in my student days, so teaching 50 people was pretty tough.

“Well then, let’s start with the reading and calculations.”

The girls from the First platoon sitting in the Mess’ chairs were surprised, and even their leader Hannah was cocking her head.

So I adjusted my service cap and smiled wryly.

“Are you surprised? But this is necessary for the training in the future.”

I looked around the Mess and asked.

“Those who can read the menu, raise your hands.”

The Mess in the Imperial Army included a tavern, but unlike the three meals provided free of charge, the tavern charges money.

They didn’t look too confident, but some of them raised their hands. There were around 20, so the literacy rate was less than half, which wasn’t too bad. After all, there were many Commoners in Schweidel who could only write their own names.

“Well then, how much is 6 bottles of wine and 4 beers? Who can calculate that mentally?”

Half of the hands were withdrawn.

Only merchants and craftsmen would be used to calculations that were slightly complicated. Ninety percent of the Empire were farmers, and they didn’t have many chances to do such calculations.

I nodded, and took out the expensive textbook I used in the Military Academy. Commoner officer cadets would usually sell them when they graduate, but I didn’t do so.

“If you can’t read, you can’t peruse the instruction manual for muskets. You can’t even fill in a leave application form if you can’t write. Those who can’t calculate can’t manage the things they have. All these are critical matters.”

These were all common knowledge, and people with a higher level of education could adapt faster to new things.

Something that could be easily done by me, who was a Japanese in my past life, was difficult for Schweidel citizens.

Especially their literacy and calculation abilities.

That was why I needed them to learn to read, write, and calculate.

“Some of you might question why soldiers needed to read and calculate, right? But think about it this way, if you learn this, you can still make a living if you get injured and discharged. You can make money by writing for others, or work for a merchant. The things you learn here will definitely help you in the future. So let’s start off from here.”

I said to them gently, and the women soldiers nodded quietly.

   *   *

We had to keep up Physical training too.

For this part, we just worked on marching, formation change, and running.

“Lieutenant, is this amount of training enough?”

I nodded at Hannah’s question as I jogged.

“Reaching the battlefield quickly is important. Instead of capturing the enemy’s territory, linking up with the defending forces to fend off the enemy will lead to less losses.”

Sometimes, reaching the battlefield a day late would determine the outcome of a battle. I had experienced this several times in the Academy’s sandbox exercise, and twice in actual combat.

Just increasing the troops’ movement speed could result in holding an overwhelming advantage in terrain, and had been proven in historical battles in my previous life. Napoleon was probably the one who pioneered that concept.

“It is tough for women soldiers to fight against men with bayonets. In that case, we need to fight off the enemy before it turns into a bayonet charge. And also…”

I steadied my breath as I ran. I couldn’t talk properly while running.

Hannah smiled:

“If we take the high grounds faster than the enemy, that’s like telling them they have no hope of victory!”

“T-That’s right.”

Hannah’s stamina was great. Her breathing was steady, and she understood things quickly. She was an excellent Sergeant.

In the future, I should let her lead the running training.

But this time, I would accompany them to the end. I then returned to the Brigade Headquarters. The training being more relaxed for women was a big help.

   *   *

In the lull between training, I headed to the Brigade Commander Office to report and consult with her.

“Overall, things are going smoothly, but it will take longer than I expected. Their potential isn’t bad, but they lack stamina and the drive.”

Colonel Alzer nodded as she looked out the windows at their training.

“Lieutenant Krombertz, can we train competent soldiers with just this training?”

“I don’t know of any other way, this is just what I learned in the Military Academy. You should have learned the same too, right?”

The Colonel shook her head.

“Unlike real soldiers like you, I didn’t train in the Academy, and was just nominally enrolled in the academy.”

Oh, that was normal amongst noble officers. Especially so for nobles of high standing.

High standing nobles naturally had higher ranks. They could form battalions just by recruiting soldiers from their own territories, and in such cases, the noble would naturally be the Commanding Officer.

However, the nobles would be busy with territory management and political struggles, and wouldn’t have the time to learn about modern warfare.

And so, Commoner Officers like me would be assigned to be their strategist or adjutant. I was also assisting the Colonel in the same capacity.

When I got posted here, my career had basically reached a dead end. As compensation, I got the title of strategist, so I wasn’t too dissatisfied.

Furthermore, this place was far from the frontlines and safe.

However, I should at least satisfy Lady Alzer.

With that in mind, I continued my report to the Colonel.

“Soldiers who can’t even read are of no use to you. We can’t send them out to scout, and they need to find people to fill in all sorts of forms for them.”

The unit organization, equipment, tactics and all kinds of things would get more complicated with time. There was a limit to conveying information through word of mouth alone. It would be more work now, but this needed to be done.

After I told the Colonel that…

“You have a point, but…”

The Colonel leaned back on her chair and laughed.

“Learning to read and write will be helpful after their discharge from the military, correct?”

She saw through me.

I adjusted my service cap and smiled wryly.

“That’s right. Since the soldiers are risking their life in battle under my command, then we need to guarantee their livelihood after their discharge. This is the obligation of the army.”

“Indeed, but our army is harsh towards our retired veterans.”

The Colonel showed a bitter face, then smiled again.

“It seems I found a good strategist. I repeatedly asked for an Officer with battle experience, organization knowledge, and able to instruct women soldiers. I finally found one.”


The Colonel leaned back and put her hands behind her head.

“You are the fourth, the first three requested for a transfer right after getting posted here, so I let them go.”

“Can you not put it like you are fishing?”

The Colonel had it hard too. She might be a direct descendent of the Five Royal Houses, but she was just a Colonel in the army. It was hard for her to request for a strategist she could get along with.

The Colonel looked out the window at the soldiers training outside, and smiled at me.

“I will tell the soldiers to do as you say for now. If there is anything wrong, don’t hold back and tell me. I will handle the consequences.”

“Yes Mdm!”

It was a big help to have free reign in my work, I really found a good superior.

Chapter 9: Death God of Lead

There was a big problem in training women line infantry.

In the Schweidel army and the neighboring countries, battles were fought by young men. The strength between men and women would stick out clearly in a fight.

However, there wasn’t any distinction between men and women on the battlefield.

“The formation change is too slow!”

I yelled angrily with the hourglass in my hand.

“What do you think a formation is!? It’s a matter of life and death!”

In this Company, there weren’t children who wanted to fight for their glorious nation. It was the opposite.

They had been through tough times since young, and didn’t believe in anything, and were afraid of battles and getting hurt.

That was the kind of girls they were.

So I knew they didn’t have much motivation to commit to their training.

That was a problem.

So I picked up a musket, and walked to the front of the women line infantry who were dallying.

“Listen up, muskets are much fairer than society, bullets won’t care whether you are a Commoner, Noble, good person, bad person, a man, or a woman. You get hit, you die.”

I told them, who didn’t know what live combat was, about my personal experience.

“If you get shot in the head, you can count yourself lucky. Because you will die without knowing what is happening. Getting hit in the neck or chest is also lucky. It will hurt, but you will die quickly after bearing the pain.”

Bloodied casualties lying on the ground and crying for help would greatly lower the morale of the troops.

However, there was no procedure to save their lives. Being hit in the head or neck would make things easier for both parties.

… I was shocked when I realized my mind was trending in that direction. If I didn’t pay attention, my humanity might get grinded away. That would really be the end of me.

That was why I had to substantiate further.

“If you get hit in the arm, you might die from blood loss, and if luck is on your side, you can trade your arm for a pension and an honorable discharge. However, many people died from amputation, most of them died because of their wound festering post operation.”

There was no anesthesia, blood transfusion or disinfection in this world. The level of medical care was far below my previous life. You might die from a light wound.

“Those hit in the abdomen have it hard. You’re a goner if your intestines broke, and will only die after writhing in pain for half a day. When that happens, you will be asked by your comrades to kill them, and you might ask others to kill yourself.”

The accuracy of musket fire was unreliable, but it was fully capable of hitting the mark at point blank range. No matter how many times I experienced it, I didn’t like the instance when I felt relieved after killing my comrade.

“Worst of all are the ones hit in the leg. They would be left in the middle of the battlefield, and might survive if we win the battle. But if we lose, they will be surrounded by the enemy and toyed by them until they die. You are women, so ‘that thing’ will happen too.”

Ravaging was a given on the battlefield. A young girl falling in the battlefield was no big deal.

And hence, in the Schweidel army, there was a saying that ensuring there was a brothel was the job of the officers. It was to avoid unnecessary troubles.

Even in a war, the lives of the people would still keep going. That included sex.

I took off my service cap, and apologized for my rudeness.

“I apologize if I made you angry. But this is what actually happens on the battlefield. And there will definitely be people who get hit on the leg. Because the projected area of the human body from the front… Anyway, the most likely place to be hit is the legs.”

The body type of Schweidel citizens were similar to caucasians, and had long legs.

“To ensure the survival of the people who got shot in the legs, there is one important condition. Does anyone know what that is?”

I looked around me, and everyone looked at me wordlessly with wavering eyes.

A while later, a woman soldier raised her hand.

“Strategist Sir.”

“Yes, please speak.”

She said confidently:

“It’s our victory, right?”

“That’s it, you’re very right.”

I nodded.

“If we win, the enemy will be gone, and we can protect our injured comrades and send them to the military doctor. Even if they died in battle, we can at least protect their dignity as a human.”

I fought a retreating battle before, and had a tough time not leaving behind the injured. If we were delayed in transporting the wounded, then people who could be saved might die too.

If we didn’t have the time to save them, the wounded would be abandoned.

“If we are going to fight, then we have to win.”

I put on my service cap again and showed a serious face.

“Remember, if your formation is a mess, you will die! If your change in formation is slow, you will die! If you die, your comrades will die! If your comrades die, then you will be next!”

There was a huge leap in logic here, but right now, it was more important for everyone to know how critical the formation was.

“Every line infantry formation is designed to protect everyone! They are formations that have been proven effective in live combat! So you must believe in the formation! And keep the formation!”

Line infantry needed to form ranks to fight, because muskets could only fire one shot.

“Be it me or any of you, we can’t even fight off one wolf alone! So don’t fight alone! Don’t run away alone! That will lead to certain death!”

This wasn’t a lie, if you flee in fear, you would be treated harshly as a deserter. And as an Officer, I would have to execute the deserter.

A soldier couldn’t survive without the protection of the army, and would be pursued by both the enemy and friendly forces. Deserters would always suffer a miserable fate.

“If you listen to the commander’s order and stay in formation, then you won’t be defeated. Be it wolves, bears, or enemy cavalry, they will be shot down before they can get close! At this point of time, line infantry is the strongest unit on land!”

I then softened my voice and stated the most important thing.

“Like I said, a musket doesn’t differentiate between men and women. This applies to your muskets too. The power of your bullets have nothing to do with your arm strength, no matter how strong a man the enemy is, they will fall to your bullets.”

Was it a psychological thing? The expression of the women soldiers seemed more serious. Did my words finally reach them?

I wasn’t too sure, but I hope this was enough to ignite their motivation.

“The formation change we just practiced is for an emergency. When there isn’t any place to take cover, we have to use our bodies as walls, and form a square formation to prevent the enemy from attacking our blindspots.”

It might sound good, but it was better to avoid using this formation. I had never used this formation in battle either.

“That’s why the square formation has to be formed faster than other formations. If you can’t do it, then the commander will have to exclude this option, and we will have one less method to survive.”

Usually, that would mean spreading out to run, or risk it all in a bayonet charge… Either option would result in heavy casualties.

I looked at the troops once again, and raised the hourglass in my hand.

“You need to complete the formation change before all the sand drops, we can then use this formation in live combat. I can assure you that the chances of everyone surviving will increase.”

A few of the women soldiers nodded.

I nodded back at them.

“Other than that, there are many things you need to remember. If you memorize them all, then I can formulate all sorts of plans to protect everyone. This isn’t just for victory, but to save as many people as possible.”

If the objective of the commander clashes with the soldiers, then the unit wouldn’t be able to fight.

That was why I told them that victory would minimize the casualties, and align the goals of the commander and the soldier.

And of course, the best method wasn’t to fight.

I told them the same.

“Actually, the best way is to win without fighting, then no one will die.”

“Lieutenant, is that really possible?”

“There are situations where both sides face off and then withdraw without a fight. If that is what you want, then take your training seriously. If we set up a tight defense faster than the enemy, our opponent might retreat without a fight.”

Winning without fighting a battle.

That was an ideal situation, but we should strive for that whenever possible. That would be easier.

“Okay, if you understand, then hurry up and memorize the changes in formation. After that, you will need to practice what to do to fill in the gaps of fallen comrades.If you memorize all that, I will ask Her Excellency for permission to ration out sugar.”

The women soldiers became hyped.


“That’s right. I will ask the cooks to make something.”

Sugar was expensive, but plentiful in the army. Sugar was nutritional and easy to preserve, with good demand, making them easy to trade for money. It was an excellent source of military supply.

Everyone in the Company grew excited.

“I want to make Bekko candy!”

“I want sweet white bread with lots of sugar!”

“What are you saying, sugar should be added to tea!”

“I want to sprinkle them on fried bread!”

I finally made them serious, and the tension was gone now.

But never mind.

“Hey, there will be enough for everyone! But if you don’t train seriously, then you won’t get any sugar! So please train seriously!”

“Yes Sir!”

“Strategist Sir, we have a deal”

Don’t get too cocky, this is the army.

… Despite that, I still relaxed and smiled.

“I will go and plead my case with the Brigade Commander then. We can see the training field from the Brigade Commander’s Office, so make sure you train properly.”

“Yes Sir!”

“Godspeed, Strategist Sir!”

“You have to bring back sugar!”

They seemed to be in good form…

Chapter 10: In the Brigade Commander’s Office

Staff Sergeant Hannah, stared at the new Lieutenant training the troops.

“Too slow! There’s no point if you are slower than the enemy! Quicken your pace!”

Strategist Second Lieutenant Krombertz shouted at the marching platoon and yelled.

“Reach the battlefield faster than the enemy! Secure the advantage in terrain, then we can win easily! To achieve this, we need to be faster!”

Strategist Krombertz’s training emphasized speed to the point of obsession.

“We need to be fast when retreating too! If we are slower than the enemy, we will be attacked!”

Krombertz then walked towards her.

“They are good soldiers, and are serious in their training.”

She said with a smile.

(For a soldier, he really likes to smile…)

For Hannah who hailed from the lower strata of society, an army officer was like a being from the heavens, and that perspective didn’t change when she was appointed as a Staff Sergeant.

The previous strategists all had scary faces, were arrogant, and would resort to violence for the smallest mistakes.

However, Strategist Krombertz didn’t hit anyone. He might be verbally strict and scary when he yelled, but he didn’t lay a finger on any soldier.

Usually, he was easy to talk with.

“What’s wrong? Not feeling well?”

Strategist Krombertz asked worriedly at Hannah, who seemed absent minded.

“No, it’s nothing, Strategist Sir! I’m just thinking about something.”

She was panicking inside. She deserved a beating for thinking about other things when talking with her superior.

But Strategist Krombertz didn’t mind, and nodded firmly.

“You’re really serious, Staff Sergeant Hannah. No wonder Lady Alzer entrusted a third of her troops to you.”

(He complimented me, even though I was in a daze…) 

That made her feel bad.

Unaware of Hannah’s internal struggle, Strategist Krombertz continued speaking with a serious face.

“But you don’t have to push yourself. Ideally, you should just put in 70% effort. If you go all in, your fatigue will accumulate, and your work will become a mess. And when something happens, you won’t be able to cope.”

That was shocking too. The Strategist Lieutenant before her was saying that she didn’t need to give her all in her work.

(That surprised me?!)

Hannah stared at Strategist Krombertz.

He was strange, since he could work happily in such a place.

At this moment, Strategist Krombertz suddenly relaxed his face.

“Don’t make that troubled face. I know about your work too. I will keep an eye here, you can go to the Mess to rest.”


She couldn’t help gasping.

Strategist Krombertz lowered his voice and said teasingly.

“I’m speaking from experience here. On the battlefield, those who are serious will die first. And I don’t want you to die. Think of this as doing me a favor, be a little less serious, Staff Sergeant Heiden.”

(My heart is racing! I’m falling for him!)

All her life, Hannah had never been treated gently by a member of the opposite sex before. Because of her body, she was always treated like an exotic animal.

And that was why Hannah quickly grew to like Strategist Krombertz.

However, Strategist Krombertz didn’t seem to notice that, and just waved his hand.

“Hurry on over, this is a privilege of a Non Commissioned Officer. Have a good rest, then work hard.”

“Y-Yes Sir!”

Hannah couldn’t help saluting.

Hannah left, and visited the Brigade Commander Office before going to the Mess.

“Looks like you have fun chatting.”

Colonel Alzer chuckled behind her table buried by documents. Hannah felt her cheeks heating up, and then saluted.


“Strategist Krombertz is an amiable person.”

“I think so too. What do the troops think about him?”

“They have a very good impression of him, even those who are afraid of men. The Lieutenant is gentle and good at instructing others, so he is popular. And he is clean too.”

He was also gentlemanly and cool. But Hannah didn’t say that, and just said it in her heart.

Colonel Alzer nodded lightly as she perused a thick stack of documents.

“I see. By the way, have you noticed his manner of speech?”

“Manner of speech…?”

Hannah groaned for a moment, then clapped her hands. It wasn’t a gentle sound, but a loud clap.

“Oh, right! He sounds like a Commoner!”

“Yes, that’s unusual for someone from the Military Academy.”

The Colonel said as she signed on a document.

“Normally, Commoner Officers will pay attention to their manner of speech. They will correct their accent, since they will be working together with Noble Officers in the future. Using Commoner accent would affect their chance of promotion.”

“Oh right— the Nobles speak differently from us, I can tell right away.”

“Right? I’m also using the traditional accent you call 【Noble accent.】 Just from one conversation, and you can tell whether the other party is a Noble. However, Krombertz might be speaking in the style of a Noble, but his accent is that of a Commoner.”

The Colonel smiled wryly, then put down her pen with a serious face.

“From his attitude towards his work, he is very competent. His knowledge and logic is also better than his predecessor. Hence, it is really easy for him to change his accent. However, he still insisted on using the 【vulgar accent of the Commoners】, so of course he will be ostracized by the Noble Officers.”

“Now that you mentioned it, it is strange.”

Hannah couldn’t think of a reason either.

On the other hand, the Colonel sunk back into her chair and crossed her arms.

“Strategist Krombertz was born in the Commoner zone in the city, and has never gone out of the country before. His parents are pure Schweidel citizens. His mother tongue isn’t Schweidel, and this isn’t just a problem with his Commoner accent. He has the tendency to use foreign phrases.”

He was a Schweidel, but his mother tongue wasn’t Schweidel.

Hannah didn’t understand the implication, and was that even possible?

The Colonel tapped on the documents related to Strategist Krombertz.

“It is strange. It’s a contradiction, so he must have some secret.”


“If he is a foreigner, then I can understand the quirks in his speech. But that won’t match his history. But I investigated his past through my House, so it should be accurate.”

The Colonel’s House was the Mediren House, one of the 【Five Royal Houses】, at the pinnacle of the Schweidel nobles. With their spies, it was easy for them to investigate the background of a Commoner Officer… Hannah thought.

The Colonel smiled awkwardly.

“A lot of time was spent investigating this, but in the end, aside from knowing that he is an honest and capable person, we didn’t find anything else. At a glance, there isn’t anything between him and Duke Ritreille. But that makes me scared instead.”

“Is that so?”

“I’m really timid after all.”

The Colonel stood up and looked out the window.

“However, Strategist Krombertz’s work right now is impeccable, so let him continue to work hard.”

On the training field, Strategist Krombertz was waving his service cap and yelling something.

Chapter 11: Gun of the Revolutionary

After training the only Company of women troopers in the Sixth Special Brigade, I reported my progress to my superior.

“The training result is good. They are disciplined, quick to learn and serious.”

I made my report, and Colonel Alzer nodded as she took my report.

“I’m glad to hear that… You want to say something, Lieutenant?”

She saw through me. She might not be great at military affairs, but she had an eye for people.

So I raised my question directly.

“They are so good that it seems unnatural.”

“Better than male soldiers?”


The Platoon under him was good and easy to command, and performed great in battle.

But the quality of this women’s Company was even better than that, and they were surprisingly easy to train.

This felt like the special enrollment class in the tuition center I worked in. That class only took in students aiming to enroll in top schools.

So I answered frankly.

“This is the easiest batch of soldiers I have trained. As if they are the top performers of a much larger group.”

Colonel Alzer smiled happily at that, that smile was really brilliant.

“I see, you’re more capable than I imagined. You’re right, they are soldiers who have gone through a round of selection.”

“What do you mean?”

Colonel Alzer answered right to the point.

“I protected the impoverished women in Mediren indiscriminately, but those who can’t adapt to military life left. That’s a choice they made.”

“I see.”

Colonel Alzer probably recruited a lot of women into the Brigade.

And naturally, there were people who weren’t suitable to be soldiers. Or rather, those were the majority.

“Where are they now?”

“Some of them are employed by the Brigade headquarters. They will work in the Mess, Laundry room, uniform and equipment repair workshop.”

“I see.”

Speaking of which, other than the soldiers, the other workers here were women too. In the Mess, Laundry room and workshop were all around the age of grandmothers and aunts. So they were working here because of that too?

“The army spends a lot of money, so it creates a lot of job opportunities. And you use them to help the women too?”

“That’s right.”

Colonel Alzer nodded quietly.

“You caught on quick.”

“The army doesn't need strategists that are dull witted.”

I smiled faintly.

“If the Brigade is to expand, then the organization supporting the army will have to grow too, right?”

“Of course, if possible, I want to expand it more. Their salary is paid by the country anyway.”

It wasn’t her money, so Colonel Alzer didn’t mind at all.

I didn’t mind either.

“I wholeheartedly agree. My beloved country has no plans to use money to help the weak. So I don’t care what happens to the national budget.”

“Hey, I’m a member of the 【Five Royal Houses】, please watch your words.”

Despite what she said, Colonel Alzer was chuckling.

There weren't any problems then. I felt relieved, then placed the documents I prepared on the table.

“And in order to achieve that goal, please take a look at this plan to improve the women Company.”

“You are quick with your work.”

“Because the areas to improve are obvious.”

I was glad that I could act like a competent Strategist.

In fact, the areas of improvement were very obvious, my predecessors just didn’t have the motivation to act on them.

Colonel Alzer quickly looked through the plan, and nodded sagely.

“I see, looks like we won’t be working together for long.”

Did I offend her?

Alzer smiled awkwardly.

“I can understand your request for boots and tents, they are necessary equipment for campaigns. I can also accept buying inner wear in bulk, we can use them to treat wounds, and clean clothes can keep diseases at bay.”

“You have a good eye for things. I hope we can take the measurements for boots and record them down.”

Everyone had different feet sizes, so it would be better for cobblers and foot doctors to measure them.

They couldn’t be custom made like Nobles, but the cobblers in the Schweidel Empire had standard wooden molds, so if they could buy boots that were close to the right size, they could walk faster and more comfortably.

But that wasn’t the case for the Schweidel army. The troopers were issued boots that could be adjusted to size, and let the soldiers adjust it.

They were just cheap goods that would spoil in no time, so most soldiers didn’t bother adjusting them, and just bore with the discomfort.

“An infantry can’t work if they can’t walk.”

“That’s true, since you put so much emphasis on movement speed, you won’t compromise on this. Fine, let’s not waste time with the higher ups over this trivial expense, I will settle it with my own money.”

The higher ups and the Royal family wouldn’t put up money over something like this, so Colonel Alzer decided to use her own money to fund the equipment. That would be faster, and the higher ups wouldn’t say anything about it.

The Colonel then glared at me.

“But what is this gun miniaturizing? The length of the musket will affect the range, and you should know that very well. I don’t need to tell you about the importance of range for muskets, right?”

“Of course.”

I nodded, then explained to my boss.

“There isn’t much benefits to shortening the gun barrel. If our range of attack is shorter than the enemy, then we will need to advance through enemy fire. We will then be at an advantage during close range combat.”

“That’s right. In that case, are you implying there is something more important than that?”

“Yes, Mdm.”

His boss was quick on the uptake, which was a big help. With that in mind, I said in a firmer tone:

“The standard muskets used by the Imperial infantry are too big for our soldiers. It’s hard to load, and very heavy. This will cause a significant reduction in firing speed.”

To gain the advantage in a bayonet battle, the Schweidel muskets had been made unnecessarily long, making them both long and heavy during a march and when firing. I couldn’t do anything about that.

With these muskets, there was no way we could reduce the loading speed under 20 seconds. It was just a few seconds, but in a head on confrontation, that would mean getting hit first.

“In my opinion, if we are going to be at an advantage either way, making the muskets lighter might be better.”

“Lightening the equipment is an iron rule…”

Alzer looked conflicted. That was to be expected, since guns were the life of the infantry.

“This length is about that of cavalry muskets, right?”

“Yes, my plan is to use cavalry muskets.”

Including spares, I wanted 200 of them, so we couldn’t waste too much effort in procuring them. We just needed to get our hands on excess cavalry muskets for now.

“But we don’t have the mobility of the cavalry, so how can we fight the enemy with cavalry muskets?”

“This isn’t stated in reports since it is non-regulation technology, but I will do something about guns and bullets.”

Frankly speaking, I hated doing this, but there wasn’t any way to explain this.

“The bullets for muskets are ball shaped, but I want to change them to acorn shape.”

It was similar to the ‘Minié ball’ in my previous life, an early form of ammunition for rifles.

“By making the rear end of the bullet hollow, it can better absorb the expanding gas when fired, increasing accuracy and range.”


Alzer looked baffled.

“Really? An elongated bullet like this will probably exit the muzzle at a random angle.”

“That’s right, so we need to carve spiraling grooves inside the barrel, so the bullet can spin and stabilize it’s flight path.”

I took out a bullet from my pocket and showed it to her.

“The bullets can be made with iron casts, but the modifications to the guns is more tedious. By doing this, we can drastically increase the accuracy and range of the bullets, and even snipe from a great range. I have tested it out already, it makes poaching a breeze.”

During my days wandering as a child after reincarnating, I sneaked into a noble’s private forest with that old man veteran, and poached the games there. The meat was nutritious, and we could sell the feathers and hides at a high price in the black market.

The Colonel was shocked.

“You were lucky. If you got caught by the game wardens, the two of you would be executed on the spot, and become nutrients for the forest.”

“We were just going around the surveillance net and swiftly taking out the targets. That’s not much different from what we are doing now.”

There weren’t many game wardens, and the forest was large, so it was impossible to secure the place completely.

They also had to raise critters to serve as game during hunts, so we wouldn’t run into any patrols if we were careful.

My words made the Colonel smile awkwardly.

“I thought you were a hard working and capable man, but I should revise that to a hard working and dangerous man.”

“That’s an honor.”

In this country, a wandering child who obeyed the law couldn’t survive. So everyone closed an eye towards such light infringements, as a small rebellion towards this cruel society.

“The modification of the gun can be entrusted to my connection from back then.”

“You’re really a villain.”

Alzer laughed, then checked the bullet.

“If we want to use this in the army, we will need quantity. Can we make it in time?”

“We need to issue a few to each platoon first, then let the best marksman equip them to snipe the enemy officers, non comms and bugler.”

It would take more than a year to procure enough Minié rifles for a Company, so for starters, we should issue them to dedicated snipers.


The Colonel groaned, and then nodded.

“Alright then. I will fund this expense too, I can’t report this up to the top.”

She wanted to monopolize the new weapon. I wonder who was the real villain?

She then said:

“Once we use excellent weapons, then the enemy will start using them too. If we don’t want our enemy to know, the best way is to not tell our allies too, right?”

“It’s as you say.”

If the whole Schweidel army is equipped with the new gun model, it would be leaked to enemy hands through theft or as spoils of war. When that happens, it would become a war between the new gun models, and the casualties on both sides would become terrifying.

I felt bad towards our comrades, but let’s keep this technology a secret for now.

Colonel Alzer crossed her arms and placed them on the table, then looked up at me.

“Alright then, I approve all your requests, is there anything else?”


I submitted my next document.

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